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Verizon Adding Push To Talk BlackBerry Service?

pushto-talk I am not sure what the deal is with carriers and push to talk. I know AT&T tried it a few years ago and it crashed and burned miserably. Sprint tried to extend the Nextel push to talk network to their own and that also failed. For some reason it looks like Verizon thinks they can succeed where all others have failed other than Nextel. Personally I think the only reason Nextel succeeded was because push to talk was a feature on all Nextel phones and minutes were included on every Nextel plan. If Verizon does not do something similar then nobody will ever bother trying the service.

The rumors started when the BoyGenius mentioned that the upcoming OS 5.0 release for the Tour 9630 would include Push to Talk. The service is supposed to work over the data network for a $5/month fee. To further confirm that rumor the sharp eyed Bla1ze over @CrackBerry noticed that the latest OS leaks for the Tour have included the files necessary for such a feature. Verizon’s mobile website even has a page where you can try and add the service to your account. It could be Verizon was ready to go with this and is in a holding pattern waiting for the 9650 to launch…

In other news the leaked Beta OS for the unreleased BlackBerry 9650 included a user guide with an interesting addition. The user guide called the device the BlackBerry Bold 9650. Maybe RIM is abandoning the Tour name???

2 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. I know a couple folks who have used Verizon’s PTT for a couple years now. They like it, but the dearth of phones available has held it back significantly. Go to the Verizon site and look at the craptastic lineup of phones supporting PTT and you’ll see why nobody uses it!

    I had a Nextel for years since I’m in public safety. EVERYBODY in public safety uses a Nextel, or at least did until it too suffered from a completely craptastic lineup of devices. I mean seriously, the rest of world had moved on to 8xxx and I believe even 9xxx BlackBerry and Nextel was still stuck with the 7100i until the 8350i FINALLY launched. That 8350i is actually a really nice device!

    Nextel succeeded not so much because minutes were included or anything, but for industries like contractors and service and construction the immediacy of “walkie talkie” became and essential “must have” business tool. Unlimited PTT use was great for businesses on a budget, but it was the immediacy (IMHO) that drove adoption. Being able to “chirp” someone to assess their ability to talk was so much faster and easier than placing a phone call and waiting for them or voice mail to pickup and faster too than sending an SMS and waiting for reply.

    Rumor has it the PTT will be available on 9630 with the OS 5.0 release, and at a cost of $5/month extra. If it’s that cost and available additionally on the 9550, I’d sign up the wife and I for sure. And since my public safety agency switched a couple years ago from 7100i’s to verious Verizon BB’s and we lost our PTT capability, I have no doubt we’d add it back to our 20+ BB’s as I suspect would practically ALL public safety Verizon customers.

  2. Most of the Australian service providers tried Push-to-Talk YEARS ago and all but Telstra (our biggest service provider) have abandoned it, though even Telstra don’t really push it anymore (no pun intended)…

    The idea has merit, but it’s often expensive, poorly marketed and has virtually no hardware support, meaning the technology is destined to fail regardless.

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